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December 11, 2013

Low lead requirements kicking in next year

With implementation of low-lead requirements for potable plumbing products scheduled to come into effect in Canada next year, the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) is advising manufacturers and retailers to check their inventories to ensure that affected items are converted to compliant products, where necessary.

“They need to ensure that they don’t have a lot of non-compliant products left on the shelves, so they are not left holding the bag at the end of the day,” said CIPH president Ralph Suppa.

“But, I think most companies have already transitioned (to low-lead products).”

Implementation of the requirements is scheduled to come into effect in January in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario and later in the year, elsewhere in Canada.

>In a recent bulletin, also circulated to the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC), the institute noted that harmonization of dates and requirements with the United States should eliminate confusion in the marketplace.

The institute said such moves should eliminate the potential risk of the dumping of leaded products into Canada, confusion over mismatched implementation dates and the burden of taking inventory of duplicate stock keeping units (SKUs) for the same product for leaded and non-leaded products.

In the bulletin, the CIPH said the United States has made some significant changes to its Safe Drinking Water Act, which come into effect Jan. 4.

Canada has moved forward in mirroring the intent of U.S. regulations, but via standards that will be integrated into the model National Plumbing Code.

A new version of the ASME/CSA standard for plumbing fittings was published in December 2012, indicating the requirements needed in order for plumbing fittings to meet the 0.25 per cent weighted average lead content requirement.

The institute has kept the MCAC apprised of developments.

“We’ve been doing our best to keep our members informed,” said association president Richard McKeagan.

“But, it is the product manufacturers that are most affected. Our members simply install the products that have been specified.”

CIPH represents companies that manufacture, sell and distribute, plumbing, hydronic heating and other products.

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